Friends of South Yemen

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Statement from Hayel Saeed Anam Group

Hayel Saeed Anam Group (HSA) is aware of a report released on 29 January 2021 by the Panel of Experts on Yemen.

The report contains unsubstantiated allegations of wrongdoing by HSA in relation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Central Bank of Yemen in Aden (CBY) deposit agreement of 2018.

We reject any and all such allegations in the strongest terms. HSA will now commission an internationally renowned audit firm to conduct an independent audit into the allegations to provide a full review and account of the facts.

The Panel did not put its allegations against HSA to the company as a part of the preparation of the report and prior to its publication. We have therefore written to the Panel to express our concerns.

HSA emphasises that the company received the largest portion of the disbursement of the KSA deposit due exclusively to HSA’s status as the largest food importer and manufacturer in Yemen.

Allegations by the Panel that dispute the validity of the extensively audited process that determined the quantum of the disbursement received by HAS are unsubstantiated and spurious.

In light of the process followed by all commercial participants, there can be no suggestion that HAS would have been treated in a preferential manner or may have accessed disproportionate levels of funding, as has been alleged.

HSA used the funds associated with the KSA deposit disbursement precisely for their intended purposes, reducing prices of foodstuffs and essential commodities for Yemeni consumers, in line with the major role that HSA has played in tackling Yemen’s food security challenges at a time when the country is experiencing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Over the course of its over 80-year history in Yemen, HSA has played a significant role in providing humanitarian support to Yemen’s communities across the country, rebuilding schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure impacted by the conflict, and often partnering with international organisations and NGOs.

HSA operates in line with international best practice in compliance and governance standards in every market the company operates in, is an apolitical organisation and is committed to transparency and accountability. The allegations contained in the Panel’s report are therefore entirely at odds with HSA’s values and operating practices.

31st January, 2021